Ukrainian political life is unpredictable and inconsistent. Its processes are often ideologically incoherent. The only exception is the market relations around party organizations. They became so obvious that it would be irresponsible to leave the political evolution in a degrading condition. It is especially relevant in the settings when political parties have the monopoly for nominating candidates to different levels of authorities. Political projects come and go, the same as their formal leaders, whereas the USREOU code (Unified State Register of Enterprises and Organizations of Ukraine) had rather been hidden than demonstrating the actual evolution of a political group.

Think of a little known “United Ukraine” party – today, it is the Shariy Party. Another case, when there was a political force with an overly complicated name “Party of the Community of United Multiapartment House Owners, Construction Workers, and Construction Organizations.” Several months later, it became the second largest faction in Rivne City Council – “Rivne Together.” 

That is why we analyzed all political forces for you. We looked at them through a lens of recent election campaigns and highlighted the most extraordinary stories from the “party bazaar.”

Per aspera ad astra

To create a political party in Ukraine, you need to organize a founding convention and make a decision thereon supported by signatures of at least 10,000 citizens entitled to vote. Voter signatures shall be collected at least in two thirds of regions of Ukraine, in the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, and AR Crimea. These are the requirements of the Law "On Political Parties in Ukraine."

The law also requires from parties to create and register regional, city, and district organizations in most Ukraine’s Oblasts, within the following six months.

Party registration process is complicated but we still have about 370 parties in Ukraine. Why couldn’t we refer to more specific data? Because no list openly available (such as the  Unified State Register of Legal Entities  or Register of Public Formations) or any other lists we analyzed are exhaustive. The “digital government” has a chaos in the registers which is rather conducive for entrepreneurial ideas about open trade in political non-profit organizations which value usually grows before the elections.

Last time the official portal of the Ministry of Justice  updated the available party list was on January, 1, 2021. For example, it does not contain the USREOU code of the “Servant of the People;” and it lacks complete data on certain parties (some of them have already terminated their activities, e.g.  “Olimp” PP). 

Although the Minister of Justice, Denys Maluska, announced about the initiated process to cancel the registration for 48 parties back in February, since that time, the number of political forces has not decreased (some court proceedings are still open, certain parties nominated their candidate for the by-elections of people’s deputies in constituency 87, thus managing to save their registration). 

Furthermore, new political parties keep being registered in Ukraine. Thus, since the start of 2021, 8 political forces have been registered: “Ukrayintsi” [lit. – The Ukrainians], “Dobrobut” [lit. – The Welfare], “Dosvid” [lit. – The Experience], “Syla Yednosti” [lit. – Power of Unity], “Popular Initiative”, “Mova” [lit. – The Language], “Harant” [lit. – The Guarantor], and “Nashe Misto” [lit. – Our City].  In 2020, 17 new parties were established, while in 2019, there were as little as three. However, the richest year in terms of registration for Ukrainian party building was 2015 – it listed 79 new political forces.

If we compare to other democratic European countries,  Italy has 58 political forces, Lithuania – 77, Poland – 87,  Germany – 116, United Kingdom – 379, France – 680, but Spain has almost 5,000 (!) political associations. 

Certainly, every country has its specificity, while the UK and Spain are federative states. However, all of them, us and them, and dozens of other countries, share one thing – not all the parties registered on paper are actually real, rather than nominal political projects. On the other hand, often, even standing in elections may be a necessitated step, in terms of various legal requirements. Let alone, the dramatic change of names or beneficiaries of political forces and the "exit from the sleep mode" shortly before the electoral race.

How Parties Ran For Elections

At the 2020 local elections, of the 350 registered parties of the time, candidates were nominated to councils of different levels by 144 (!) Ukrainian political forces (or 41%); 113 (78.5% of all participants) won at least 1 mandate. In other words, ab. 30% of political organizations managed to get the minimum possible support from voters.

In the recent local elections, many parties were regional projects. 112 (77.8%) of political forces nominated their candidates only in 5 or less Ukraine’s Oblasts: 73 parties (50.7%) – in one Oblast only, 18 (12.5%) – in two Oblasts, 10 (6.9%) – in three Oblasts, 5 (3.5%) – in four Oblasts, and 6 (4.2%) – in five Oblasts.

As little as five political forces nominated their candidates in all Ukraine’s regions: “Batkivshchyna” AU, “For the Future,” “European Solidarity,” “Servant of the People,” and “Nash Kray.” The list does not even include the two parliamentary parties of “Holos” and the “Opposition Platform – For Life.” 

According to our estimates, about 40 political forces running for local elections have probably changed their end beneficiaries before the local elections: 70% of them in 2020, others – in 2019. Later, the analysis of state registers helped us establish that they have certain typical features: 

  1. Registration of candidates in few communities (usually, within one district or Oblast, with few exceptions).
  2. Personified party name (“Symchyshyn Team,” Ihor Kolykhaev Party “WE SHALL LIVE HERE!," “Mykhaylishyn Team,” "Svitlychna Bloc TOGETHER!" etc.).
  3. Deliberate geographical link (“Mykolayiv People,” “Native Transcarpathia,” “Rivne Together,” “Dnipro Team,” etc.). 

Due to the partization of elections, certain political forces changed their names and leaders shortly before the 2020 local elections. The metamorphosis and rebirth of certain projects call for a careful attention.

Reincarnation, Ukrainian Way

Before the local elections, party officials took under their control the unknown legal entities, renamed them, and presented them to voters under a new name. This category includes over 25% of all parties. The full list has been  collected in this Table. However, the most interesting reincarnations deserve a more detailed coverage.


Date of establishment

New name

Date of renaming

Previous name



Shariy Party


United Ukraine



Bereza Eco Party


People’s Ecological Party



Vinnytsia Citizens Party


European Platform



Party of Your City


Patriots of Volhynia



Order. Responsibility. Justice.


New Time



The Bee


Popular Parliament



Serhiy Sukhanov Party





“Unification” Party of Volodymyr Buriak







New European Ukraine





Viche [lit. – People’s Convention]



Ihor Kolykhaev Party "We Shall Live Here!"


“Rebirth of Ukraine” AU



Civic Movement "Critically-Minded"


Ukrainian Patriotic Party



Palchevskyi Victory


Ukraine Tomorrow



Perspective of the City


Popular Unity



United Alternative


Union of city and village



Dnipro Team


Public Position



For the Future


Ukraine of the Future



Rivne Together


Party of the community of united owners of multi-apartment buildings, construction workers, and construction organizations



Mykhaylishyn Team


Dobrobut [lit. - Welfare]



Ecological Alternative


Dosvid [lit. - Experience]



Symchyshyn Team


Party of "Peace and Flourishing"



United Community


Patriotic Movement



Svitlychna Bloc "Together!"


United Force



Serhiy Minko Team


Kozak People’s Party



Bila Tserkva Together


Right Will of Ukraine



Native Transcarpathia


Kyiv Community



Eduard Gurvitz Bloc


Unity and Development



“Popular Rule” Levchenko Team





Andriy Baloha Team


United Center



"Ukrainian Perspective" Vilkul Bloc





Ihor Sapozhko Team "Unity"


Strong Country



Mykolayiv People


Bloc of Hennadiy Chekita "For Justice"



Bloc of Vadym Boychenko


Communal Spirit



Kernes Bloc – Successful Kharkiv!


Unitary European Ukraine



People’s Program of Vadym Chornyi


Agrarian Ukraine Village Bloc



Serhiy Rudyk Team. Time for Change!


Time for Change



Party of Common People of Serhiy Kaplin


Andriy Matkovskyi Team



Maksym Yefimov Team "Our Kramatorsk"


Native Kyiv Land



VARTA [lit. – The Guard]





For Odesa Land


Movement for Ukraine

Certain “Your Ukraine” (USREOU – 37379815), with the central office in Donetsk, on September, 13, 2019 became a party “Patriots of Volhynia,” with an office in Lutsk. Under the brand of “Patriots of Volhynia,” the party nominated Oleh Holtianskyi as a candidate at by-elections on March, 15, 2020, to the Verkhovna Rada, in constituency 179 (Kharkiv Oblast). The candidate’s  Program  where he promoted the “creation of a combined system of agriculture, with farming businesses and Soviet council-based farms” and the “external expansion policy” attracted the support of as many as 20 voters (0.05%). 

The party must have not been much interested in the results. In fact, it is highly likely that the nomination was rather technical, to keep the status of a legal entity and not be liquidated, until a more attractive market offer. The Law empowered the Ministry of Justice to initiate a party’s liquidation in the court in case it had not participated in presidential or parliamentary elections for 10 years.

It is interesting that the first, or rather original, “version” of the “Patriots of Volhynia” party (with an entirely different USREOU code – 40142729) was renamed  a month before (August, 2019) into the “Party of Your City.” One year later, it managed  to get 5 mandates (13%) at the 2020 local elections to Uzhgorod City Council (Transcarpathia Oblast). 

In the same council, at the same elections, 6 mandates (almost 16%) were won by the “Native Transcarpathia” party. In fact, still in February, 2020, it was called “Kyiv Community” (USREOU code – 42622242). However, according to the NACP report, they have not exercised any activities. What a piece of political logistics! Mykola Tyshchenko might have got inspired by the case, as he “relocated” from Kyiv to be a leader of the party organization of the “Servant of the People” in Transcarpathia.

However, it seems like Kyiv region, as a true heart of Ukraine, “caught the fancy” of party officials from the country’s west, and from the east. Thus, the “Native Kyiv Land” party (USREOU code – 43684802) was renamed in August, 2020, into the Team of Maksym Yefimov “Our Kramatorsk” (NB: Maksym Yefimov is a majoritarian deputy of Verkhovna Rada for constituency 48, with the center in Kramatorsk). Two months later, under an updated brand, the party ranked second (28.57%) at elections to the Kramatorsk City Council, and 5th (9.26%) to the Kramatorsk district council.

It looks like the party can also be rented for use short-term. In September, 2020, “Bloc of Hennadiy Chekita “For Justice” changed their name to the party “Mykolayiv People” (USREOU code – 38909954). They nominated candidates to the Mykolayiv regional, district, and city councils. Political race was not highly successful for the party – 5 mandates to Mykolayiv district council. However, we noticed another thing – that the political force has not changed the leader, despite the critical rebranding. Hennadiy Chekita stayed (NB: people’s deputy of the 8th convocation under constituency 134 – Odesa city). The office of the political force also  stayed in Odesa.

Goal – Seats in Commissions

Because regular local elections in Ukraine take place once in five years, and the number of participants in the parliamentary campaigns is typically lower, the issue of registering hundreds of “conserved” parties could be taken off the table. However, the conclusion is premature.

Political officials can hand the parties over to other beneficiaries, and also nominate technical candidates (in the majoritarian constituencies, first of all), or they may abuse the right to run for elections and provide their seats in election commissions to the third parties, for financial benefits.

According to our estimates, since 2012, 6 political parties have been systemically intensifying their activity on the stages of establishing and distributing seats in district election commissions. They are “Green Planet,” Liberal Party of Ukraine, “Unified Family,” “New Politics,” Green Party of Ukraine, and the “Ukraine of the Future.”

On the other hand, the number of political forces that have been engaged in any such activities at least once, since 2012, is about 28 parties. Even without nominating any candidates (or with nomination in several majoritarian constituencies), they received a huge number of seats in DECs and TECs, often during several election campaigns in a row.

The highest number of members at regular and extraordinary parliamentary elections in 2012, 2014, and in 2019, was gained by the “Green Planet” party (USREOU – 33447027) – 466 (at the 2012 elections, the party received 0.34% of votes, at the 2014 elections – 0.23%, at the 2019 elections, they did not nominate any candidates). 

Liberal Party of Ukraine (00044351) – 446 members (at elections in 2012 and in 2014, the party finished last – 0.05% and 0.07% of votes, respectively; at the 2019 elections, they did not nominate any candidates).

The all-Ukrainian union “United Family” had a big number of district commission members (21710562) – 317 seats. The political force had election commission members in 2012 and in 2019. However, they only nominated candidates at the 2014 parliamentary elections, and under a different brand. During those elections, it was named “Ukraine is the United Country.

At the parliamentary elections in 2014 and in 2019, the “Ukraine of the Future” party (36088708)  had 233 commission members at their disposal. Nevertheless, the political force was not highly successful in the elections. It all changed in October, 2019, when the party changed their name to “For the Future.” Six months later, the party leader was a people’s deputy Ihor Palytsia. After that, the political force became publicly known and  won the fifth biggest number of deputy mandates  at local elections. 

Other parties (presently represented in the parliament) used to take the same approach.

Parliamentary Chameleons

Among the five factions in the Ukrainian parliament of the 9th convocation, four political forces changed their names and beneficiaries.

“Servant of the People” used to be called the “Party of Decisive Change” from April, 2016, till December, 2017. Although the official website says that the party was headed by Ivan Bakanov, the information is not quite correct. In fact, during the first 18 months, the party was led by Yurdyha Yevhen Oleksandrovych.

“Opposition Platform – For Life” was founded in December, 1999, under the name of the All-Ukrainian Union “Center.” It stood for the 2012 elections where they nominated as many as 1 candidate under a majoritarian constituency No 2 (Simferopol). In April, 2017, the party changed the name to the “For Life” party, and they also replaced a leader, Prymak Mykola Anatoliyovych, with Vadym Rabinovych. In February, 2019, the party received its present name. In June, 2019, a new leader came -  Yuriy Boyko.

The “European Solidarity” party experienced even more transformations. It was founded in May, 2000, as the “All-Ukrainian Party of Peace and Unity.” In 2013, it changed the name to the “National Alliance for Freedom and Ukrainian Patriotism “NASTUP” [lit. – ATTACK]. After that, in 2014, Petro Poroshenko’s team took this political force under their control and renamed it into the “Solidarity” AU. In fact, the registration certificate of the authentic “Solidarity” was cancelled by court decision for not participating in elections during 10 years. Later, the widely known brands came to life: Bloc of Petro Poroshenko – BPP “Solidarity” – European Solidarity.

The fourth renamed parliamentary party turned out to be a much simpler case. Thus, the “Holos” received its present name in May, 2019. Before that, the party had been known as the “Platform of Initiatives” (registered back in February, 2015) but it has bever been politically active.

Therefore, the only parliamentary force that has not undergone any transformations was the “Batkivshchyna” All-Ukrainian Union founded back in September, 1999.

Political Den

Therefore, as we can see, there is plenty of parties in the Ukrainian horizon. They can hardly be analyzed in one coverage; their programs can’t be read through. After all, does it make any sense? In fact, many of them are in deep hibernation, like a bear in his den in wintertime. However, it looks like in order to make it until spring (or until elections, in our case), parties are trying to find the same burrow to stay together (party office). 

It is what the following parties did: “Party of Spirituality and Patriotism” and the “All-Ukrainian Kozak Party” (11 Mala Zhytomyrska Street, office 5-A, Kyiv); party “Economic Revival of Ukraine” and “New Ukraine” (3 Mazepy Street, office 197, Kyiv); Movement of Valentyn Nalyvaychenko “Justice” and the party “Ukrainians Together” (143-А Saksahanskoho Street, Kyiv). Even the office of the “Opposition Bloc” in Kyiv, at 6/14 Voloska Street, has the “Voice of the People” party laying low.

Will the political winter come to an end for these hundreds of other parties? Will they ever stand for elections? What name will they use, and at whose expense? Unfortunately, we have no knowledge of that. 

It is possible that another little-known party “United Ukraine” will transform into the “Shariy Party,” “Ukraine Tomorrow” – into “Palchevskyi Victory,” and the “Unitary European Ukraine” – into the “Kernes Bloc – Successful Kharkiv.” And the voters will vote.

However, does it make much sense to vote for the party when the members did not even manage to register it on their own?


The publication was made possible due to support of American people provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Any opinions and statements expressed in this publication may not coincide with the official position of USAID and US Government.